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Off the Ice, Kings' Roenick Shows He Has a Soft Side

November 02, 2005|Chris Foster | Times Staff Writer

About mid-rant last Friday, the suggestion that the Kings' Jeremy Roenick was a sensitive art-teest probably would have brought hoots from the gathering of media.

Referees missed a call, Roenick said angrily -- explaining what happened on the ice against San Jose in colorful terms best suited for a late-night Las Vegas lounge act.

This was a tirade not wholly unfamiliar from the sharp-tongued Boston native, whose personality leans more to James Woods than James Joyce.

Yet ...

"There is a soft side to me," Roenick said.

There is, and Roenick has proof in writing.

Roenick spends time away from the ice writing poetry -- yes, poetry -- a quasi-hobby that he has practiced since his days at Thayer Academy, a Massachusetts prep school.

One of his first days as a King was spent at the beach, where words came easy.

"I just thought about life, my life, things that happen around me," Roenick said. "I just wrote what I felt, my family, my experiences. It gets me away from hockey.

"Hey, I'm a metrosexual guy. I have my hard side and my soft side."

There is no denying Roenick is a distinctive individual, far different than many lace-'em-up hockey players -- or coaches for that matter. But there are more sides to him than a Rubik's Cube.

"He does poetry?" teammate Craig Conroy said.

"I wrote a four-page poem for my brother's wedding," Roenick said. "I was the best man and did this whole thing like a Dr. Seuss story. I had them all laughing. I wanted to do something that showed how much my brother meant to me growing up. I wanted everyone there to know what it was like to have a brother like mine."

Roenick has occasionally considered publishing his work. Yet, there are some poems that he would prefer to remain private.

"I have written many for my wife," Roenick said. "They are very personal. Some she has had framed and hang on the wall in our house.

"This is my way to get away from hockey."

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